Hello everyone. In today’s article I want to answer one of the most common questions among Dota 2 players: ‘How can I become a professional player?’.
Even though my Dota 2 career wasn’t very long, I’ve managed to attend several international tournaments, played with many current pro players as well as coached several professional teams. The article is based on the experience of many professional players that I know of. Well, let’s get straight to the point.
To become a professional player, you need to become a good player first. You should have good micro and macro skill.
Micro skill is your ability to use your spells and items effectively in fights, reaction time, personal performance, and knowledge of each hero. You can improve the micro skill by playing pubs or leagues.
Macro skill is your game understanding, map awareness, communication skills, and more. Macro skill usually comes with team practice games.
- Matchmaking Rating usually determines your overall micro and macro level. ‘Number doesn’t matter’, the famous phrase by Dendi, sadly, doesn’t work for pro-wannabe. If you want to get noticed - MMR number is everything. Teams will not test you out, leagues will not invite you unless you have a top-50 rank of your region. It doesn’t matter how good you think you are, in most cases professional Dota 2 is going to be closed for you unless your MMR is very high.
There is a good example of the importance of high MMR from a year ago when the player named ‘Yamich’ calibrated 9-1 and got from top-70 rating to top-1. He has played 10 games, nothing really changed, right? Wrong. With 1 day difference, ‘Yamich’ has turned from a mediocre support into one of the most desired youngsters in the CIS region.
It doesn’t matter how you get to high MMR: by spamming a hero, by last-picking Broodmother, by crushing servers(it has worked for some individuals) - just get there and your life is going to become a lot easier.
- Friendships and connections are very important. If you think you are going to get invited to a team only because you are good - this is rarely the case. Often, people build teams around their friends. I know plenty of players, who had an insanely high MMR but couldn’t find a team for almost a year. Start building your connections as early as you can. Be friendly, talk to different players, invite them to your friend list. This is going to pay off later.
- Luck is a huge factor for any player. It connects with all the previous aspects we mentioned above, but still matters a lot. Some pro players can notice you while playing a pub, some of your friends can mention you to a pro player in friendly talk, someone can notice you while playing against you in a tournament. That one little push may give a start to your career.
Do not be an asshole - an unspoken rule, which you have to follow.
- Reputation is very important in Dota 2. There are many cases of players getting to the highest MMR, but ruining their reputation so badly in the process no one would even look at them.
To connect our puzzle into one piece:
- Build the base by improving your micro skill and getting to a high MMR.
- Once you get to 6000 MMR at least, start searching for a team. Playing in a team will allow you to improve your macro understanding of the game. Work on improving your game understanding and communication skills.
- Use the experience you get with your team to increase your MMR even further. There is no stopping point unless you reach the top-1 of your region.
- Build connections with high ranked and known players while playing pubs. Having many friends will significantly increase your chances of getting into a team.
- Keep your reputation up. You can live with a bad reputation if you are already an established pro player, but you can’t survive with a bad reputation as a pub player.
- Never stop and never surrender. There are bad days, there are awful days, you can’t do anything about it. Keep working and keep improving.